Employee engagement drives bottom line, however what does engagement mean and how do you help employees connect with the company.
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer co authored the book the Progress Principle which explored the question of when people are motivated and engaged at work. They recruited 238 people across 7 companies, and everyday they completed a diary entry and a questionnaire. After 12,000 days worth of data Amabile & Kramer drew conclusions from the information.
The most conclusive result was that people are most motivated when they are making progress on meaningful work. The most powerful thing to excite, engage is moving forward even if it is a small win. That is the progress principle.
The terminology the pair used in their book was “inner work life” – what moves you forward?
What was the most startling find was a negative impact can be 2 or 3 times more damaging than a positive move forward.
We therefore need to be most aware of our nourishers and our toxins. These can be people and also environments. Think about a place where you are really productive and a place with the opposite effect. We make the choices as to where we spend our time and we need to ensure that we look after ourself by the environment we work in.
How do you keep yourself moving forward?
- Stay focused – know what you want to achieve
- Track small wins – write down what you want to get done
- Spend at least 30 minutes each day on meaningful work
How do Manager’s apply the Progress Principle?
- Catalysts – Share clear goals, with milestones and quick wins along the way
- Autonomy – Empower team members to take initiative and responsibility
- Resources – Provide the right materials at the right time
- Human support – Being there
Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on “Understanding your Motivation”
Small drop of kindness
I was early for a coaching session last week, so I grabbed a free coffee from Waitrose. I was browsing their entertaining brochure contemplating whether I could cook a whole salmon or was it beyond my culinary expertise.
I was perched quite precariously on a bar stool when I was tapped on the shoulder. My instant reaction was one of alarm, that something was wrong. In fact when I turned to face the individual it was a smiling lady with a young child.
“I just wanted you to know that your dress is really pretty and you look good”
“I thought you were going to say something really bad”
This act of kindness was so unexpected I did not make the thank you as gracious as possible. How brilliant to compliment a complete stranger.
Although I know “it is as gracious to receive as to give” – the stranger/danger tripped into my psyche all too quickly. My other negative thought was that some other malfunction may have happened with dress and barstool (which we have all done).
To the lady in Waitrose Rickmansworth Thursday 15th September, huge thank you. It was a wonderful thing to happen and I did go into my coaching session on a high. Created some great outcomes with my client obviously boosted by the drop of kindness. At the weekend cooked the whole salmon!
Please do contact nuggets for private coaching to develop you…
Working as a coach I ask my clients to look to the future as to what they want to achieve. Framing the conversation so that they feel safe and supported is very important for them to believe the goals can be achieved.
Using laminated cards I ask that they walk the timeline so that they are moving forward with their thoughts and stepping into the date time and place.
It is really important to take them to the future first, one year from now. Set the date and ask them what they and see as if they are there. Ensure that you don’t look at them so that it does not become a chat in the present day. They have arrived they are a year ahead in their business and they have achieved several things and you want to hear how proud and excited they are by all that they have worked on.
You then ask them to walk all the way back to the current space they are in at the moment. You spend half the time here that you spent in the future as often there are blocks to their thinking, absorbed in reasons why things are not happening.
Half way there
This is a great place for them to go they are half way through the year and still have the expectation that all can be achieved. They will have had some successes along the way and will visualise their goals taking shape.
Intermediate steps and actions
You are now 3 months before the end of the year so it is the finishing touches stage to a great year and almost planning the next. It is the final hurdle and you might have seen a new finish to your race, squeeze in some extra work or meet some new clients.
Immediate steps & actions
Bring them back to a space where things are reality, what will they do now, tomorrow and in the next few weeks. Everything becomes tangible and actionable.
Please do not hesitate to contact nuggets to walk your own timeline.
We are all just merely stewards in our role, managing and co-ordinating waiting for the next person to takeover. We are custodians for a short period, the new owners of your role or business can quite feasibly turn it upside down.
Years ago I left a job and my boss said make sure you leave with them wanting more, go out on a high. If we are just stewards holding a role until new shoes come in, we need to make sure we leave it in a really fantastic state.
Hand back the role in a better place than when you took over the stewardship. Steer it to greatness and leave a legacy that is right for the role.
Top tips for leaving a job:-
- Clear processes and systems written down
- Clear goals and targets
- Personable handover of team – social connection
- Bios of team members
- Clear desk (it says more than you think) no-one wants to find a stale apple core in your draw
- Plan of meetings to attend
- Planner or schedule
Holidays are a great time to reevaluate what is going well and what is not going quite so well. I know it is a time to relax, however I cannot resist always doing an exercise on the sun bed to check that the business and myself as an individual are on track.
Normally I select some key questions to identify what has just happened and what I want it to look like going forward.
The answers can then be assessed when I get back home to build a robust plan for September and beyond.
Please find some key questions that might help you and your business:-
- Who are the most important people in your life and how do they support you?
- With whom do you feel most comfortable? Why is this?
- What are you going to say yes to…?
- What are you going to say no to…?
- What is your business like when it is at is very best?
- What are the challenges facing your business?
- What are all the ways in which you market your business? Dream up as many new ideas as possible?
- What new trends exist in your sector that can develop your business?
- What is the most important thing to you about what you do?
Please do get in touch if you would like a business coach in September
Summer is here and new thinking comes with it. It make us feel different everything seems possible when the sun shines and the sky is blue, hence the term “blue sky” thinking.
Last week I painted our kitchen and it was amazing to work physically for a whole week without being challenged mentally. I chose a good week to be inside and it was perfect recharge to look at the world and most importantly the business differently.
It would be hard for businesses to orchestrate a painting “boot camp” however it was the perfect blue sky exercise I have done in a long while. As there was no pressure on me mentally everything did seem possible and the only time I was stressed was reconstruction of a plate rack.
In Europe a lot of businesses shut down for the summer and our own Parliament is due to begin its summer recess. We need time to rethink, reengineer and reinvent ourselves for the Autumn/Winter.
I want to be fit for business in a mental and physical capacity.
Therefore before September I need to work on some specific goals and most importantly ask the right questions:-
- Monthly financial targets
- Business development meeting target
- What is working in the business?
- What is not working in the business?
- Where am I spending most of my time?
Stephen Covey believes in order to be a whole person or we could say “match fit for September” you need to be challenged:
Think of each of those areas what you would like to achieve and what they each mean to you.
Enjoy the recess…!!
Recognising success, achievement and effort and making it public.
Never underestimate how much it means to an individual to have their work recognised.
Last week I finished a particularly long standing project and was presented with a gift and flowers. The acknowledgement of my work and efforts over a number of years meant so much. The team did it perfectly with a group presentation and individual commentary in the card to say what my time with them had meant to them personally.
This weekend I was struck again by the importance of recognition. Our son won a prize at Speech Day for “embodying the spirit of the school”. It was presented very publicly in front of the whole school community. The prize was not only a recognition of our son but of the boy who died and whom the prize is named after – The Austin Neve prize.
We have a culture of appreciation and recognition and how great to take time to stop and think what has been achieved and how.
Schools and some businesses? do it well, and how hard is it to recognise. Imagine a Speech Day with your own family, what prize would you award your partner – “The best stacker of the dishwasher”.
On a more serious note, every school talks about kindness and empathy which is the route to recognising others. Understand others achievements and first and then you will be aware of your own.
“Seek first to understand before being understood” – Stephen Covey
Very indulgent blog this week – from a mother recognising her son’s efforts and in memory of Austin Neve.